Totally Toledo – Nineteenth Century Businesses in Toledo Through Advertising Trade Cards

Totally Toledo
142 Pages
ISBN 9781537222479

Victorian trade cards were highly popular in their hey-day. Women and children collected them and pasted them in scrapbooks. The scrapbooks were highly prized, as color pictures were a rarity at the time. By the end of the nineteenth century, both newspapers and magazines had become prolific and a better means to advertise to the public. Trade cards were no longer in vogue and ceased to exist. Small and plain business cards remained in fashion, but the trade card lost popularity. Over the decades, scrapbooks of cards were disposed of or forgotten.

Victorian trade cards were popular from about 1877 to the turn of the twentieth century. Once chromolithography was perfected to make color pictures cheaply, businesses of all kinds began using these cards to advertise their goods. Some businesses just stamped their information on the cards, but others, like the Woolson Spice Company, offered gifts of curtains or pictures or all kinds of items in return for a number of their cards or logos from their cards.

This book offers a unique look at the end of the nineteenth century through Victorian trade cards. These cards were used to advertise all kind of good and services available to the people of Toledo. This book highlights 58 different businesses from the 1880's to the turn of the twentieth century.

These cards are all from the author's collection amassed over the last twenty-five years. The information about the businesses and their owners came from city directories, census records, and local history books.

M. A. Mimi Malcolm

About M. A. Mimi Malcolm (Toledo, Ohio Author)

M. A. Mimi Malcolm

In the mid 1990’s Mimi became interested in genealogy and discovered she had family who came to Lucas County, Ohio, as early as 1832. She became ‘hooked’ on local history and has been involved with many historical groups and societies including: The Sylvania Area Historical Society, The Toledo Area Genealogical Society, The Toledo History Museum, The Friends of the Lathrop House, the Ohio Genealogical Society, and she is a member of The First Families of Lucas County.

 She started writing articles for a local newspaper a few years ago. She has also authored several articles for the Bend of the River Magazine, a local history publication. In August 2016 she published her first book, The Firebugs of Northwest Ohio, a true story about a group of arsonists in the late nineteenth century. The story was discovered while researching her Pratt & Gillett trade card. 

 The first cards Mimi ever found were at a southern Ontario flea market. This find led to a passion for collecting cards from Toledo. She had diligently searched across the country to find Toledo cards and has amassed a large collection. In her spare time she has patiently researched the businesses and owners which lead to this book.